Woman stranded two weeks after going to get turkey


By Cara Sulieman

A WOMAN who went out to buy the Christmas turkey almost a week before the big day still hasn’t managed to get home thanks to the weather.

Kay Ure has been staying in a friend’s caravan as she can’t get back to her remote home in Cape Wrath.

She and her husband John run Scotland’s most isolated restaurant– Café Ozone – in an old lighthouse and have been separated since December 19 when Kay went to Inverness on a shopping trip.

John said: “Kay left for Inverness on December 19 before the heavy snow came. She was part of an organised shopping trip going by mini-bus.”

“Total whiteout”

He had driven his wife along the 11 mile road to the jetty where their boat is moored. From there they crossed the Kyle of Durness and arrived at Keoldale, where Kay joined the trip.

Dutiful John was supposed to pick her up a few days later but the bad weather prevented him from driving back to the jetty, leaving Kay stranded in Durness.

He said: “The road has disappeared here under the heavy snow and it all looks just like moorland.

“It’s a total whiteout and has to be seen to be believed. It was minus 10 at one point here but it seems to be thawing a bit today so I’m hoping for the best.”

The 57-year-old is hoping his wife gets home this week so they can have their belated Christmas day.

“Want to get home”

He added: “We’ve been in touch by phone every night. I spent Christmas Day with my six Springer Spaniels.

“Two walkers who had been walking the Cape Wrath trail called in briefly. I gave them a coffee and they went on their way.”

It is the first time in 36 years that the couple have been apart on Christmas day and their presents are lying unopened under the tree, waiting for Kay’s return.

Kay, 54, said: “I’m staying in a friend’s caravan just now, which is okay but I’m obviously wanting to get home.

“I think it will be a few days yet as the road from our home is dangerous. Part of it is known as the Wall of Death so I don’t want John attempting it until it’s clear. It would be crazy to try it.

“I’m looking forward to a belated Christmas dinner but it might be Burns’ Night before I get to eat it.”

“Good laugh”

The couple moved from Milngavie to try out rural life in Durness for a few years before buying the café last year.

It was officially opened on June 7 by the Princess Royal.

John and Kay live in the former lighthouse keeper’s cottage and have no electricity or mains water.

They rely on gas canisters, a diesel generator and bottled water to help them survive the harsh elements.

But even this latest event hasn’t put the pair off their remote lifestyle.

John said: “Despite being apart I wouldn’t go back and join the rat race again.

“We’ll have a good laugh about the situation when we do eventually meet up.”